Lowbush wild blueberries, native to North America, are small with an intense flavor. Rabbiteye (Vaccinium virgatum) and Southern highbush (Vaccinium formosum) are cultivated species well suited to South Carolina’s climate and soils. Larger than wild blueberries, they tend to be juicier. The vibrant blue-purple color of blueberries comes from anthocyanins, which are believed to protect against inflammation and disease. Blueberries are a good source of Vitamin C and fiber. The powdery white substance or “bloom” on their surface indicates freshness and acts as a natural barrier against insects. Before cooking, discard any crushed or moldy berries and stems. Rinse in a colander under cool running water; drain and pat dry.
The tart-sweet flavor of this savory sauce complements salmon, chicken, duck, lamb chops, pork tenderloin, or warm Brie cheese. One or two tablespoons of Madeira (like Rainwater) or ruby port are a tasty addition to the sauce.
¼ cup chicken broth
¼ cup fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
Scant ½ teaspoon salt and
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch blended into 1 tablespoon chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallot or red onion
1 small minced garlic
2 full cups firm, plump blueberries (or quality frozen)
3 tablespoons Smucker’s Natural Triple Berry Fruit Spread or honey, or to taste
Zest of 1 small lemon
½ to 1 teaspoon minced rosemary or culinary lavender buds (Lavandula angustifolia)
Combine broth, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; reserve. Prepare cornstarch slurry; set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil. Saute shallot 2 minutes then add garlic; cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add reserved broth mixture, blueberries, and fruit spread. Bring to a boil; add reserved cornstarch slurry and stir until thickened. Mix in lemon zest and rosemary. Simmer over low heat 2 to 3 minutes. Cool sauce. For the best flavor, prepare sauce 1 or 2 days ahead; refrigerate in a 16-ounce jar with tight-fitting lid. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm. Makes 2 cups.